Archive for the 'Into The Light' Category

Midnight Mass

The people want to be good. And life wants to be happy.

In Portsmouth was born a kitten blind and with an inoperable spinal condition that rendered his rear legs useless. But he was adopted from the shelter by a woman, and then students at a local school built him a wheelchair. Because people want to be good.

And the kitten, he doesn’t know that he’s hurt and sad and poor: he likes to run on the floors, listen to music, bat things around with his front paws, just like all the other kittens. Because life wants to be happy.

Someday all of the humans will devote all of the resources to all of the creatures. Including each other. Because people want to be good. And life wants to be happy.

That I may not live to see it, that doesn’t mean it’s not Real.

Because I have been to the mountaintop. And I have looked over.

Advertisements

Many Mansions

In my Father’s house are many mansions.

—John 14:2

Christmastime again is here, and so be Santa, and so be Jesus.

Some years ago, in contemplating Santa and Jesus, the two began to get confused in my mind. Santa Claus, for reasons that have never really been explained, devotes each year to overseeing minute laborers who fashion gifts which he annually delivers, in a single night, to all deserving children the world over. Jesus Christ, for reasons that have been variously explained, roamed for a short time across a relatively minute plot of land, uttering gnomic wisdoms, then was seized and subjected to excruciating suffering, so that all, deserving and undeserving alike, might be gifted with salvation.

When a sprout, I was taught that while Santa’s labors never end—a yearly, year-long grind—Jesus’ was a one-shot gig. Wander around Palestine, ascend the cross, into the tomb, three days later out again, brief appearances before various friends and lovers, then up to heaven for a well-deserved eternal rest.

I no longer believe that. I believe that, as is set forth here, “Jesus Christ suffers from now until the end. On the cross. He goes on suffering. Until the death of the last human being.” That is the mystic meaning of his tale: he suffers with all beings suffering in the exile of existence. And we are called upon to do the same—to grow to empathy, so that thy neighbor truly is thyself, and suffering everywhere, for everyone, may be eased. With this meaning there is no need for the resurrection. All of us are him, doing the same work; our work, his work, never ends.

For those who are wedded to the resurrection, the advances in science and philosophy in my lifetime, in the understanding of the multiple dimensions and multiple worlds about us, too mean that his work never ends. For the planets, it is now known, are innumerable, and so are the dimensional variations of this one. And if salvation is indeed his calling, he will forever be busy as twelve bastards, for there are those who will need saving, inhabiting every one.

furthur=>

March Of The 차려입 펭귄

People are strange.

It’s in all the reports.

Take the Koreans. For they, in these times, have Christmas in their country, for no reason that makes any sense at all.

Because Christmas is first of all about a martyred Jewish mystic, who was snapped up by Saul the Roman carny-barker and transformed into a weirdsmobile pagan sun-king, in which form he went luluing around Europe for the next 2000 years or so.

Later grafted onto the day was a Nordic fat man, who in one night flies supersonic reindeer round the globe, showering from a sleigh gifts to all and sundry, like some sort of holly-jolly communist.

None of this really says “Korea.”

And yet: there they are. Thinking it’s a good idea to dress up penguins like Santa Claus and reindeer, and then set them to marching in a parade, accompanied by a human Santa, who wildly throws fake snow in the air.

These festivities inaugurate the annual “Christmas Fantasy” winter festival at the Everland Amusement Park in Yangin. The penguins promenade down a street decorated with some 2 million lights, 80 Christmas trees, and showers of artificial snow. There is also a holiday-themed fireworks show—hopefully set off only once the penguins, borrowed from the city zoo, have been returned to their usual quarters. Beacuse fireworks are not something that anyone who is not a human really likes.

Everland, it is said, draws some 6 million visitors a year, and is the number-two most popular non-Disney theme park in the world.

“Everland” is presumably what you get when you knock the “N” off Neverland, and run Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily, Peter Pan, and the Lost Boys off the place. Also, Michael Jackson.

furthur=>

War On Christmas Going Very Badly

Santa’s best defense is that the North Pole is—spoiler—really cold. The US Navy doesn’t have any icebreakers, and the Coast Guard only has two, both of which are research vessels. And unlike the Russians and the Finns, the United States doesn’t have any ground units specifically trained to handle polar climates.

Nor is Santa himself a pushover. Some images of the old man depict him with a Kalashnikov. Elsewhere, he’s armed with a sword. Futurama‘s Robot Santa has some sort of laser blaster. In Scrooged, Santa is able to repel a terrorist attack with an M16A2; his elves carry M60 machine guns. Oh, and about those elves: according to NorthPole.com, “There are an unlimited number of elves because it takes a lot of help to keep the north pole maintained and the presents made every year.” Even if an expeditionary force succeeds in taking the workshop, the elves’ sheer numbers make the possibility of a post-invasion insurgency likely. And then there’s Santa’s sidekick Krampus, a massive goat-demon who according to Germanic legend, captures his enemies in a bathtub, eats them, and transports them to hell.

“I cannot think of too many worse environments to infiltrate and then exfiltrate from than the North Pole,” says Andrew Exum, a former special adviser for Middle East policy at the Department of Defense who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I have no idea how many elves would remain loyal to Santa Claus, but given the open terrain, you would probably want to surround Santa’s workshop with at least a company of Army Rangers before sending in a team from one of our special missions units to capture or kill Santa himself. That’s 150 to 200 men right there that would have to make their way to one of the most remote locations on Earth, carry out a very difficult mission in low visibility and freezing temperatures, and then march back out. As much as I love and admire our special operations forces, that’s a huge ask.”

furthur=>

Everything Old Is New Again

Kalinin had a distinguished goatee, and, more important, was an organ grinder of secretary praise. In Kalinin‘s estimation, Stalin was “our best friend, our best teacher, the pathfinder of the ages, the genius of science, brighter than the sun, the greatest military strategist of all time.” Stalin tried to get Kalinin to please stop, no more, but he wouldn’t.

Martin Cruz Smith, on Stalin’s vice president, Mikhail Kalinin

Over nearly three minutes, Pence offered plaudit after plaudit after plaudit, praising Trump’s vision, his words, his strategy. By the end, Pence offered 14 separate commendations for Trump in less than three minutes—math that works out to one every 12.5 seconds. And each bit of praise was addressed directly to Trump, who was seated directly across the table.

Here’s the full list:

  1. “Thank you for seeing, through the course of this year, an agenda that truly is restoring this country.”
  2. “You described it very well, Mr. President.”
  3. “You’ve restored American credibility on the world stage.”
  4. “You’ve signed more bills rolling back federal red tape than any president in American history.”
  5. “You’ve unleashed American energy.”
  6. “You’ve spurred an optimism in this country that’s setting records.”
  7. “You promised the American people in that campaign a year ago that you would deliver historic tax cuts, and it would be a ‘middle-class miracle.’ And in just a short period of time, that promise will be fulfilled.”
  8. “I’m deeply humbled, as your vice president, to be able to be here.”
  9. “Because of your leadership, Mr. President, and because of the strong support of the leadership in the Congress of the United States, you’re delivering on that middle-class miracle.”
  10. “You’ve actually got the Congress to do, as you said, what they couldn’t do with [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska] for 40 years.”
  11. “You got the Congress to do, with tax cuts for working families and American businesses, what they haven’t been able to do for 31 years.”
  12. “And you got Congress to do what they couldn’t do for seven years, in repealing the individual mandate in Obamacare.”
  13. “Mostly, Mr. President, I’ll end where I began and just tell you, I want to thank you, Mr. President. I want to thank you for speaking on behalf of and fighting every day for the forgotten men and women of America.”
  14. “Because of your determination, because of your leadership, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. And we are making America great again.”

Aaron Blake, on Mongo’s vice president, Mommy

Getting The Tree

I decided not to get the
tree
instead, I lay down on the
couch
& nearly fell asleep
& then sat up
& then
the little tree
came to me

A. R. Ammons

Get Him Out Of There

Late to his own meeting and waving a sheet of numbers, President Trump stormed into the Oval Office one day in June, plainly enraged.

Five months before, Mr. Trump had dispatched federal officers to the nation’s airports to stop travelers from several Muslim countries from entering the United States in a dramatic demonstration of how he would deliver on his campaign promise to fortify the nation’s borders.

But so many foreigners had flooded into the country since January, he vented to his national security team, that it was making a mockery of his pledge. Friends were calling to say he looked like a fool, Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.

More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.

Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled.

Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.

“He’s always been fearful where other cultures are concerned and always had anxiety about food and safety when he travels,” said Michael D’Antonio, who interviewed him for the biography The Truth About Trump. “His objectification and demonization of people who are different has festered for decades.”

It was Mr. Trump who added an anti-immigrant screed to his Trump Tower campaign announcement in June 2015 in New York City without telling his aides. “When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity,” Mr. Trump ad-libbed. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems,” he continued. “They’re bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime; they’re rapists.”

During his campaign, he pushed a false story about Muslims celebrating in Jersey City as they watched the towers fall after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York. He said illegal immigrants were like “vomit” crossing the border.

“He’s basically saying, ‘You people of color coming to America seeking the American dream are a threat to the white people,’” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice.

“We’re so politically correct,” Trump complained to reporters in the cabinet room, “that we’re afraid to do anything.”


When I Worked

February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
Advertisements